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Band practice in a storage unit??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sublimestylee, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. sublimestylee


    Aug 26, 2007
    Seattle, Wa
    So I've been browsing CL to find other musicians and came across a guitarist and drummer. I talked to the guitarist and he seems nice, but I'm a little skeptical about meeting up with them for the first time and practicing in a storage unit, in a not so good part of town. My mind is telling me don't do it, but i wanna see if anyone else practices in storage units.
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    That dosen't sound shady at all......
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I've done it, years ago though. Take a friend if you're worried about it.
  4. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Storage units cost less than a typical rehearsal space, and can often be had with AC. Even if there are no AC outlets, you can unscre the lightbulb and insert one of those adapters for a bulb with outlets. Would be fine for a couple of combo amps and a small mixer head. Plus if its a shady part of town, your less likely to have neighbors calling to complain about the noise.
  5. duderasta


    Feb 25, 2010
    Tampa, FL
    Lots of places don't have regular rehearsal studios available, and unless someone has the space at their home, and understanding neighbors, then a mini-warehouse type place is a good option..

    We did it for years.
  6. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    I have done it a bit and heard about it. If they are the outdoor garage like ones - hot in summer and cold in winter. But we left the doors open.

    Yeah - take a well armed friend.
  7. chris lykins

    chris lykins Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    phoenix az
    Done it, even when we were signed we practiced in a large storage unit in two seperate complexes that were practically all bands
  8. shadow_FIX


    Feb 23, 2010
    Rough part of town aside...

    It's kinda cool, but it's also kinda not-cool. During spring/fall it's great. What we did was take a "cheapo" and "not-fire-safe" solution to insulating the place for winter by filling trash bags with shredded paper then lining the walls with it and putting blankets up over that. This. Actually. Worked. With a couple space heaters we were golden, and we figured out that everyone's amps could run with both heaters at the low setting so we would make sure someone was out there 20 min early to heat the place up. During the summer we put a wallmount AC unit in our false front we made and this made things tolerable.

    The thing that really got to me about a storage unit was the whole paying rent thing. Our place was a little too expensive for how far the band was going to go so I cut it loose early.

    Bottom line: yes people do it, and yes it can be made to work.
  9. Take a friend.

    I have practiced in a warehouse before, but never in a storage unit.

    I was in a band that practiced in a factory that made fireworks and explosive detonators....
  10. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    When I was in high school, (That was back in 1985) our group used a 12x16 storage room for practice in the summer evenings. The owner was not aware, but I think that the manager knew as he saw us load-in a few times. Their electric bill was probably a source of frustration, and they eventually caught on once word spread about the new practice facility in town.

    I do have a few suggestions:
    1. Keep the volume at a level so that you don't draw too much attention to yourselves- especially if you are in a rough area.

    2. Don't store your equipment there

    3. Electricity: Use a portable GFI and have everyone use it! If the grounding is non-existent or if the polarity is reversed, you have a potentially hazardous or lethal situation.
    Most storage areas do not have outlets and people use those awful light socket plug adaptors (I did). These are not grounded and you are asking for a surprise if you do.
    Do not touch each other while playing.

    I hate to sound like a preachy-dad (I am), but I hope you stay safe.
  11. spcmstrbtasp


    Oct 19, 2006
    Athens, GA
    I used to practice in a storage unit in the 90s. It wasn't ideal but it worked...Be sure to sound proof well if there are other bands in the same complex. Bleed can make rehearsing miserable.
  12. Like others have stated, I've done it for a period of time (mid-90's in Texas) and we were in a rough part of town as well. Like siles72 said, it does allow for more volume and less complaints in those areas. We left our gear there, but looking back it was very foolish! Good practice room if you have it padded or acoustically treated somewhat, but you still get that tin a rattlin' a lil bit. Still amazed that we got some good recordings out of that tin can.
  13. sublimestylee


    Aug 26, 2007
    Seattle, Wa
    Thanks for all the insight guys! I have very little experience jamming with others so i was unaware storage units are a common place to jam.
  14. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Been there...done that. Didn't have any issues. If it is a newer faciilty you should be ok with power. Just be careful.
  15. Queg


    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    My band just moved into a storage unit. The proprietor was supportive and had his handyman soundproof the (metal) walls with soundboard, installed a wall (behind the roll front), door, vent fan, additional lighting and power outlets - all on his dime. It's a gated storage facility, and we can drive right up to our door for load in/out. So far we're very happy with it.
  16. That is a good situation. Luck is with you.
  17. I work for a storage facility, and I know that we don't allow bands to practice or anything like that. It's not so much that they aren't allowed it's the fact that there is no outlet unless you take out the light socket, but that's against our regulations. I did find a guy living in a unit one time. I rolled up the door and he was laying on a makeshift bed on his laptop smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, and he had the nerve to tell me to close the door; he needed his privacy:help:
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Band practice in a storage unit??

    I played with a band that did that in the 80s.
  19. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Lots of bands around here practice in storage units and warehouses without incident.
  20. RNV


    Apr 13, 2010
    Loxahatchee, Fl
    fEARful (I endorse them, not visa versa)
    I've been the same warehouse/storage unit style place for 14 years. Its to the point that we've been there so long, that even though the place has gone to hell, everyone treats us well and respectfully. I feel like the mayor of the area sometimes. Perhaps they have been there forever and you have nothing to worry about?

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